Milwaukee’s lakefront will be quiet for two days in July when the sound of roaring fighter jet plane engines usually thrill hundreds of thousands of spectators.
[caption id="attachment_133666" align="alignright" width="389"]
USAF Thunderbirds at the 2015 Milwaukee Air and Water Show. Photo by Fred Shabec.[/caption]
The 2016 Milwaukee Air & Water Show has been cancelled.
Air Show Director Rudy Malnati said scheduling conflicts prevented organizers from booking a "jet team" such as the Navy's Blue Angels or the Air Force's Thunderbirds.
"The Blue Angels were scheduled the last weekend of Summerfest, so we could not get secure hotel rooms or cars."We decided that without a jet team it would be hard to get finances, because we’ve been having trouble getting financing."
The show hasn't had a title sponsor in recent years, which Malnati said has made it difficult to reach the Air & Water Show's $400,000 funding goal.
The show has been “postponed” until July 15, 2017 and the Blue Angels will headline, according to a statement released by the show’s board of directors this morning.
“Bringing world-class acts to Milwaukee and putting on a spectacular show for free to the public can be a challenging business model without ample community support,” said Air Show Director Rudy Malnati in the statement. “Funds are needed to pay for performers, aircraft fuel, parking, safety and security personnel and grounds staff. In recent years we have been, and still are, facing a lack of adequate financial support to cover these costs.”
Organizers are accepting sponsorships and donations for 2017.
Air & Water Show President Paul Rogers was not immediately available for comment.
The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is a free event that has been held on Milwaukee’s lakefront each year since 2004.
Show organizers rent office space at the Marian Center for Nonprofits
in St. Francis, which will close this summer
, forcing dozens of nonprofits to relocate. Earlier this month, Rogers said the center's closure would not affect the Air & Water Show.